Single Cask Nation Ben Nevis 6yo...

Single Cask Nation Ben Nevis 6yo (67.6%): One of the more recent bottlings from Single Cask Nation... It is a six year old Ben Nevis distilled in December 2013 and spent its entire time in a ginormous ex-Amontillado gorda yielding 754 bottles in total (yep, that's a lot of bottles) at cask strength when it was bottled in September 2020. It also clocked a whopping abv of 67.6% when bottled which is quite rare in Scotch industry since usually distilleries tend to dilute their new make down to 63.5% when filling their casks. But since it is not a legal requirement this can vary from time-to-time of course. Some distilleries are known to fill their casks at higher abvs to save space if the new make is intended to be used in blends later or to be shipped overseas.

Color: Yellow gold, heavily oaked Chardonnay color with a ring of rather small teardrops around the glass simply refusing to turn into legs and run down.

Nose: Dunnage warehouse and a good amount of sulphur... Unlit matches, wet forest floor and rotting root vegetables. It's not a secret that I have a hate and hate relationship with sulphury whiskies but this one is being strangely ok for me now... Sweaty t-shirts, wet wool and damp basement rugs. Try to recall the smell that hits your nose when you enter a pub at a freezing cold and rainy night: It's crowded, loud, hot in there. The carpet is soaked with rain water and all the windows are steamed up as well as your glasses. That's it... Adding water didn't actually open it up or added anything new but it sure eased down the sulphur on the nose. Oh, wait... Time helps though: Savory pastries, quiche and asparagus. This whisky is constantly growing on me...

Palate: Yeah, it's hot... But before adding water I have to say that it is way more drinkable at this abv. than anyone could imagine. Sulphur is there on the palate as well but I feel the same as I did on the nose: It's oddly enjoyable. Cooked raisins and currants, beef stew and old decaying wood. After adding water: Pain aux raisins (yum...), aged rum and molasses. Considerably sweeter now... Caffe mocha or maybe Mexican hot chocolate and coal gas. Browning butter, rubber hose and crystallized ginger. Wet soot and graphite pencils.

Finish: Long with ground ginger, lime juice and dark chocolate.

Overall: I have to admit when I first nosed it I was like: Oh, no... Not sulphur... But as I described in detail above I slowly but surely started to enjoy it. Somehow in spite of being a six year old whisky it has a distinct dusty character. I am not saying that it necessarily noses and tastes older than it is (which it does actually) but it reminds be young single malt Scotches from 70s and 80s. A great autumn and winter whisky... I am glad that I managed to snatch two bottles.

Price: $90



TopWhiskies said…
Sounds like a great dram. I'm coming across a few excellent Ben Nevis casks at the moment, which is good to see. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Ed